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How EPA did the Report
Perhaps as important sa why EPA did the report is how EPA did the report. Using
existing models, (e.g., IPCC, NAS, Wigley and Raper), EPA conducted a study of the
probable effects of global warming on sea level rise. As part of a rigorous roviow
process, reviews were sought and received from over 20 prominent members of the
domestic and International scientific community. Their views span the range of beliefs
on the likely effects of climate change, and of its impact on sea level. A list of these
reviewers is attached, many of whom you may be familiar with.
The Agency wont a stop furthor and incorporated the reviewers' best estimates of the
parameters most important to estimating the extent and probability of sea level rise.
Expert opinions were solicited on key factors such as the thermal expansion of the
cocains, contributions from Greenland and Antarctica, and the melting of small glaciers.
All of the estimates – from skeptics and supporters of global climate change and sea
level rise - were used and given equal weight in deriving the resulta of this study. The
reviews also supported the statistical viability and universal acceptance of the
quantitative methods used in the study. Drafts of this report were also shared with other
federal agencies, including the Department of Energy, and the U.S. Global Change
In summary, The Probability of Soe Level Rise is an example of EPA's commitment to
sound science. I am confident that this study adds substantially to the scientific literature on sea level rise and breaks new ground in making available realistic and useful estimates of the probability of sea level rise to decision-makers, scientists, and the public. Ultimately, this report will help decision makers make better, more cost
effective decisions to protect our coastal areas.
Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to speak before this Subcommittee. I will
be pleased to answer any questions that you may have.
Mr. ROHRABACHER. Thank you very much, Mr. Gardiner. I am tempted to ask what this will do to the shape of the waves and rideability of the surf, but I will not do that. I will wait until later when we get off the record.
But let me ask you this. All of these predictions are projections that you are making here. My staff is telling me that this is not based on computer models. You are not setting this up and putting this into a scenario and working it through in a computer? Is that right?
Mr. GARDINER. I think the description that Mr. Guerrero gave you at the end of the first panel was an accurate description.
What we did, basically, was to take the existing large climate models that were the subject of the first panel. We taken those estimates, including those that the IPCC has used. We then invited in-they give us projections of changes in global temperature.
We then invited in the 20 reviewers that I had mentioned to not only provide comments on what they thought of that, but also to provide additional estimates on other factors that affect sea level rise particularly such as thermal expansion, the rate of melting of Antarctica, Greenland, of other glaciers, those kinds of factors were considered.
We then ran a separate basically computer exercise known as a Monte Carlo exercise to measure probabilities, and the product of that is a curve that looks like, or several curves, actually, that look like the one on that chart there that show a range of probabilities of possible outcomes.
That is not the only one that we came to. That just in our mind seemed to be that is the one that looks at the year 2100 and shows the range of possible outcomes which could occur
Mr. ROHRABACHER. (continuing) -of a catastrophic outcome?
Mr. GARDINER. Well, depending on what your definition of “catastrophic” is
Mr. ROHRABACHER. Right. Okay. Mr. GARDINER. [continuing] —what we show is different probabilities for different possible outcomes.
So for an 8-inch sea level rise, we believe there is a very high probability, a 90 percent probability, that that would occur.
Mr. ROHRABACHER. Okay.
Mr. GARDINER. For a larger sea level rise such as an 18-inchand we believe there is a 50 percent chance that that would occur—and we leave it to decision makers to make their own judgments as to which they feel most comfortable with.
Mr. ROHRABACHER. We will go back to that. Thank you very much. Dr. Moore? STATEMENT OF THOMAS GALE MOORE, SENIOR FELLOW,
HOOVER INSTITUTION Mr. MOORE. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. It is a great honor to be here today to give you my views on this important subject.
As an economist, I have been studying the effects or researching the effects of global warming on humanity. My research has taken One, I always find that I am much better at predicting the past than the future, so I have looked at the past to see what it could tell us about the future.
Then I have also been doing some statistical analysis which has not yet been published, but I will come back to that in a minute because it deals with health effects.
Mr. ROHRABACHER. It was interesting, Doctor, that in communist countries there was a saying that here we have trouble predicting the future, but an historian in a communist country said there was someone who could accurately predict the past, because there was so much politics in making those determinations. I just thought I would throw that in.
Go right ahead.
Mr. MOORE. Well, of course there is always some uncertainty about the past as well as the future, but I think we do have more information.
Basically you asked for the bottom line up front. The bottom line is. Since the last Ice Age around 10- to 12,000 years ago, there have been two periods on earth where the globe is significantly warmer than today.
The first period, about 3000 to 6000 years ago, was a period where the average temperature has been estimated that it was about 4 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than today, about the level that is the upper level now with the predictions for global warming in the year 2100.
So we have already experienced that on this Earth. And it was a time of great prosperity for mankind. At the start of that period, agriculture was invented literally around the world, within a very short period of time, depending on how long you archaeologists differ on how long modern man has been around, some people say 120,000 years, some people say 45,000. In any case, for most of that history mankind operated as a hunter-gathered and was not a farmer.
With the development of the warming, everywhere man developed agriculture which meant we could develop cities, we could develop parliaments, congresses, for better or worse, and legislation, and writing, and music, and all these things.
During this first warm period, which I said was so warm, not only was agriculture invented but the first cities were established. The first empires, big government enterprises, trade flourished, mankind moved from the Stone Age to the Bronze Age, writing was developed, it was a very prosperous period.
Then, the climate cooled about to roughly what it has been in the last couple of hundred years now, and then there was another warming
That warming occurred-it started in Asia around 800 A.D. and by 1000 A.D. it was affected Europe and North America, and that warming lasted roughly around 300 years.
In Asia, the economists who studied Asia economics show that income, or rather I should say real wage rates, rose steadily through that warming period and reached a peak at the warmest period, and then declined sharply afterwards and not until the latter part of the 20th Century have wage rates in China equalled what they were in that earlier period.
That earlier period was a period of great artistic endeavor, activity. Some of the greatest art came out of China at that period of time. It was a very inventive period of time.
Trade flourished. It was the only time the Chinese ever sent merchant ships out around, and they got as far as East Africa.
It was not just China but the whole Southeast Asia was prosperous. There were large sea-going merchant empires. Anchor Watt was built at this time. All sorts of temples were constructed all around Asia. It was a very thriving period of time.
In Europe, it was a period that was almost unparalleled in European history. Up to about 1000 A.D., the population in Europe had been stagnant. People were forced to live in hovels, and the cities had been depopulated. There were no people—the cities basically were places where the church had their headquarters, but there was really no economic activity going on.
Then, suddenly around 1000 the population started to expand. Trade expanded. During the next 300 years, virtually every major cathedral in Europe was started.
If you get a French Michlag Guide and go around Europe and look at their three-star cathedrals, almost every one of them was started during this period of time. It was an amazing building boom.
As you know, one of the things we economists know is if there is a building boom going on, times are good. People are being fully employed.
And the art flourished. Trade flourished. It was the time when there were great trade fairs in Europe. It was a very extraordinarily prosperous time. There was a time when they were growing grapes 300 miles north of where they can now grow them.
It was, as far as I know, the first example of protectionism. The French tried to get the British to oppress their wine productionBritish wine production!
Mr. MOORE. Because it was competing too much with the French. As you know, Brits do not compete now in that area.
Scandinavia flourished. They were growing crops much further north than they can do now. In Greenland—there are bodies buried in Greenland in the permafrost from that period of time where you could not bury a body now. It was warm.
They were growing crops in Greenland. You cannot grow crops in Greenland today. It was significantly warmer.
In North America we also had the tremendous benefits. The Anastasi Indians built their Pueblo dwellings during this period of time. When the weather turned cold around near the end of the 13th Century, they abandoned those Pueblo dwellings.
The American Indians were growing crops in Iowa, and in areas where you could not grow a crop today. It was a very prosperous period of time for them.
So around the world it was a good period.
Now climate warming is not going to benefit everybody, and certainly if you get a rise in the sea level there are going to be places like the Maldive Islands which have an average height of some